Kochi: Married to a busy full-time politician who never gets time to foster her creative skills, the initial days of marriage were lonely and quite distressful, admits Sasikala V. Menon, one of the earliest Malayalam lyricists and wife of Greater Cochin Development Authority chair N. Venugopal. Now, after 32 years of a successful marriage, she feels being the wife of a politician has made her stronger.
“In the initial days, I couldn’t adjust with his absence for long days. Later, I learned to cope up with the reality. Due to his busy schedule, he never cared or supported my writing skills those days. Though he didn’t have any problem with my writing, he made it clear that he would not accompany me to the studios. Those days, most of the film works were in Chennai and it was tough for me to travel. Fortunately, he later compensated for it and now he is an excellent critique and advisor of my creative works,” said Saikala, whose lines were tuned by maestros G. Devarajan and Raveendran.
After an extended sabbatical, Sasikala resumed her music career, and she has written the lyrics for 60 songs, including the recent Jayasurya starrer Jilebi.
Shasikala made her debut in the film Sindooram (1976), when she was a high school student.
“My father (Viswanatha Menon) always encouraged me to write,” she says.
The immediate day after their marriage on September 10, 1983, Venugopal told her that he was going to a two-week camp.
“I felt lonely and was crying. To pacify, he told me he would take me to Kashmir soon after he returns. But that honeymoon trip is yet to happen,” smiles Sasikala.
She attributes the success of their marriage to the strong emotional bonding and she is all praise for her caring and loving husband. “Though we rarely get time to sit together and talk, the bonding is strong. I never take any decision without consulting him. Even when somebody brings gifts when he is not here, I will call him and ensure his consent before accepting it.”
Supporting his wife, Venugopal, a KPCC general secretary and prominent name in the Congress politics, attributes the success to the compassionate and understanding nature of Sasikala.
“Like other women, she also wishes the presence and company of husband but is never nagging when I can’t be with her. But, we also used to have differences and small fights like any other couple. Her main complaint is my habit of not picking her calls and not informing her on my unplanned schedules,” says Venugopal.
But, the couple is very particular that all decisions in the family be it on the education of children or attending a family function, are taken jointly.
They have two children, Vignesh, who runs DYU Art Cafe in Bangalore after completing MBA and Lakshmi, who has a doctorate in economics and is the manager of several music bands. She also lives in Bangalore with her brother.
“Though he appears harsh, Venuettan is a soft and caring father. When children ask for something, he never says No. He has given all the freedom for them to pursue their career,” says Sasikala.
Venugopal adds he is lucky to have a partner like Sasikala whose culinary skills are superb. “Those who visit home including party leaders are always in praise for her cooking skills,” he says.
Both of them are Sri Krishna devotees and never miss a chance to visit temples and pilgrim centres. “Whenever we get a chance, we go to Guruvayur and Mookambika,” they said....